Thu. May 23rd, 2024

By Samuel Strait – July 6, 2017 –
When I read the recent whine by our local editor, Robin Fornoff, of the Triplicate, “My View:  $38,000 Bill for petty grievances and political vendettas”, my first thought was “You can’t be serious!”  Seems like it wasn’t much more than a year ago when then candidate Lori Cowan was on the editor’s “Public Enemy Number One List” for being presumptuous enough to run against the editor’s golden girl, former Supervisor Martha McClure.  Following that, he was beyond blowing a gasket over her, at the time, joining to that evil cabal of Berkowitz and Gitlin.  What a year it has been.   Now newly elected Lori Cowan has, for the past six months, become associated with the “more moderate” Chris Howard and the Triplicate’s editor is writing cover pieces for Supervisor Cowan in his continuing vendetta “My Views” against Berkowitz and Gitlin.  Go figure!  I guess we shouldn’t expect to much to change from the editor’s closed mind, if there is indeed one in there.

I suppose the second thing someone might ask, is in the six months since Supervisor Cown has been in office, has any real solution to Del Norte’s many MAJOR problems been moved forward? By that I mean the editor’s laundry list of MINOR issues that the County faces nearly every day of the week that slim budgets do not allow for, are all well and good to be pointed out, but does mold on the side of the Veterans Building compare in any way to NO PROGRESS TOWARDS GETTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BYPASS TO LAST CHANCE GRADE DONE BEFORE THE EXISTING ROAD WAY FALLS OFF THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN?  Something Supervisor Cowan campaigned on during her run for office.

I know, I know, there is all kinds of progress being made, wait for it,  “behind the scenes”  and the recent “one day vacation” in Washington DC unearthed as reported by the Triplicate out of the mouth of our illustrious Mayor that there is some yet to be named “super secret” Federal program for funding of a bypass.  Of course this is the same kind of political parsing that we have heard from a long list of “Moderate” Supervisors for the last fifty years.  I am still waiting …..

Supervisor Cowen is quick to tell us how hard she works and how many “fruitful”  contacts that she has made.  She is also quick to put her name forward towards anything that might benefit her, pointless trips to Japan and Washington DC.  Unfortunately for the citizens of this County her zeal for “Moving things along” hasn’t lived up to expectations.  In spite of the blindness of the Triplicate and its editor, Supervisor Cowan was not elected to be “Moderate”, but to fix some of our most pressing problems.  Voters in this County have long endured representatives who sit on their hands and expect others to carry their water.   Supervisor Cowan was elected to produce not overwhelm us with inaction or meaningless and pointless activity.  Some are not willing to wait for yet another election cycle to see some progress which Supervisor Cowan’s election has not produced.  Being a County Supervisor is not supposed to be that of a popularity contest. Useful work towards improving our daily lot in life is the expected result.  Spending $38,000 towards the furtherance of that goal to avoid wasting another year of moderate indifference might be worth it.  I think we will find out when August 6th rolls around, whether there is enough interest in change or that Supervisor Cowan’s moderate path is the way the County will go.

Clearly to this point the “Moderate” Supervisor Lori Cowan does not seem to get it that when she comes to the Board with glowing reports of contacts with our State and Federal Representatives and how hard that they are working towards fixing our problems. They, our representatives, are behaving in the way that all staff and representatives cling to when they have no intent of doing anything for you.   Federal and State representatives and their staffs field thousands of calls for action every day and use what power they have for those that can help them in their future political aspirations.  Representatives like Supervisor Cowan, Howard, and Hemmingsen barely receive more than a hand shake and a smile before their problems are forgotten.  About all Supervisor Howard and Hemmingsen could hope for after their day in Washington DC, was entertaining other staffers with humorous stories at their expense at the nearest after work watering hole, if someone even remembered them at all.

I have to wonder if Virginia Bostwick’s letter to the editor, (Triplicate, LOE Making contacts a good first step for Last Chance Grade) yielded any success, something she does not share with us in her letter.  Having known a DC staffer who spent over fifteen years in the hallowed halls of Washington DC meeting with constituents from all over the Country, the only ones that get any serious consideration are those that have money or powerful connections, not three “Yahoos from fly over country” (his words).  Problems are compounded when you come from a County in California where your Federal Representatives are in the minority and your house representative is a junior representative of that minority.   Supervisor Cowan’s vote to allow the expenditure of the money to send two supervisors to DC was one of the many ill conceived votes that she has cast.  Six months of dysfunction on the board, of which she is a major contributor, is plenty of time to take her measure.  During the course of that time many more thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on activities that did not serve the purpose of a better Del Norte County.  If it comes to pass, $38,000, is money well spent to move things along.  If this is considered a political vendetta or petty grievance then so be it.  I can’t imagine that our local editor of the Triplicate would lower himself to behave in such a similar fashion.  Then again……

4 thoughts on “Triplicate Editor Whine’s Again”
  1. WTF, In May of 2016,prior to the primary in June, I wrote a comment to a piece in the Crescent City Times “Lori Cowan: Candidate District #2”. You will see that at the time, I had strong reservations that Lori was a good replacement for Martha McClure. I was not at all happy with her decision making ability in either the public sector (School Board, Grand Jury) or in the private sector. Her research was spotty and so often clueless as to what was really going on. She has cost the people of this County a fair amount of problems before she was even elected to the Board of Supervisors. Since that time her actions as a Supervisor, where the problems can become truly monumental, have not changed my opinion of her lack of leadership abilities. I shudder to think if Del Norte County had some sort of major catastrophe with Cowan, Howard, and Hemmingsen at the helm. We will be in the rocks for sure.

    Of course with Blake Inscore, Mayor at the City, we are truly in for it. I’m not much for “I told you so, or I warned you”, but the District #2 voters should really think about the life line offered by this recall before it has a chance of getting really ugly. Another really wet winter and Last Chance Grade, or any of the many places north of it where 101 has major problems could cripple this County for some time to come. For us to allow our representatives to sit on their hands waiting for the State or the Feds to take notice is a recipe for disaster. Some one at the County needs to step up to the plate, and it sure is not going to be Lori Cowan, or Chris Howard, or even Gerry Hemmingsen. That takes leadership which none of the three have even a shred.

    1. Sam, thank you for taking the time to express your feelings. I know you are frustrated. Hell, we are all frustrated. But arbitrarily recalling an elected official because you think he or she is incapable without proof is scary.

      Most of what you have described regarding Lori is past history- am I right? She was qualified to run for office, filed the papers and paid the fees. Would you agree that the burden of knowing the candidates credentials and performance is on the voters? Are they usually educated when they vote? No, and hell no. My recollection is that noblody else ran for that seat, it was just Lori, and Martha. Voters decided that Lori was the lesser of two evils (I agree). It was, what it was.

      Now, let’s apply your logic on thinking Lori is incapable of making good decisions in office. You single out Howard and Hemmingsen. They have been in there longer than Lori, and from what I can see, have done worse. No recall for them? Why not save some taxpayer $$. and get all three of them out of there?

      The recall criteria used in this County is scary. It seems to me that the only grounds for recall should be a violation of their oath of office, or being unfit to serve (mental illness, addiction, not attending meetings).

      Campaign promises are made during campaigns. What law says that an elected official cannot change their mind once they get into office and get more facts? Would you impeach Trump because it appears he is not going to build the wall?

      I say we channel our energy and make these guys more accountable, Sam. They should all be doing more outreach to constituents. They should be working together to solve problems. That’s how we can address our frustrations.

  2. Sam, I’m sorry, but I continue to be confused here. Not to worry, so are other folks. I could not agree with you more, there is not much getting done with the Board. WTF is on the record on that. We agree.

    What I cannot get my head around is why Lori Cowan is being singled out. Everything you pointed out- not addressing problems, taking meaningless trips, etc., etc., those issues cannot be applied to other sitting Supervisors, especially Supervisors Howard and Hemmingsen? Didn’t they actually take the trips, not Supervisor Cowan?

    Supervisor Cowan said Last Chance Grade should be fixed in five years- didn’t Supervisors Berkowitz and Gitlin say the same thing? Is it their fault that the State and Feds have other plans for the billion dollars required? Did everyone really think the bypass was going to happen in five years? How long has it taken to fix our drain culverts in this town?

    It just seems to me, if you want grounds to recall, it should be the Supervisors that spent taxpayer money to go to Washington D.C. It should be the Supervisor that stifled first amendment rights. It should be the Supervisor that recuses himself on every other vote.

    I am sorry, Sam, you are just not giving me enough here to justify a recall of a Lori Cowan. If a Democrat takes her place in a successful recall, we all lose. You’ll have plenty more to write about.

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